Nick Foos invites me into his workspace, a spare bedroom with a balcony and a folding card table. I look at yarn, oils and stamps on a shelf behind him as he tells me about his journey to Zu Füß.
Zu Füß is an Aromatherapy and Intuitive Coaching company owned and operated by Nick. Made from the comfort of his apartment, Nick’s products are sold online across the hemisphere and at local craft fairs.
Nick grew up in Williamson, a conservative town upstate New York. With the tentative goal of becoming a high school Spanish teacher, he enrolled in the first co-ed class at Wells College, declaring a Women’s Studies major and Spanish minor. Nick tells me he wanted to try to structure his life in a new way, and felt that since he was starting over in college anyway, he should push himself as far as he could. He challenged himself “to unlearn much of what [he] learned in high school,” which proved to be “brain-breaking.” After getting through most of his undergrad, he decided to leave Wells and pursue something else.
Shortly after leaving school, Nick moved to Rochester with his partner. In an effort to get on his feet, he took a job at Target: “It was meant to be a temporary job that quickly turned into a career,” he explains. At some level he thought, “this is my life now, I’m going to take over Target,” and continued to climb. After about five years, however, Nick hit a wall and realized working for corporate wasn’t going to feed his soul.
Nick laughs thinking back on his experience at Target. He tells me that after doing some life coaching with a friend of his, he quit his job and lived off his 401k for about a year until he figured out what he wanted to do next. He says, “Zu Füß came about as a way to get back to who I am and where I was as a kid before I really bought into capitalism and that sort of thing.” In 2015, Zu Füß was born.
Zu Füß offers an array of bath, burnable, wax, oil, and roll-on products in addition to Tarot-based life coaching and Tarot readings. Additional products may come and go as trends fluctuate, but Nick is confident in his core. His favorite? The roll-on perfume. He laughs, “I like to put things onto me, not just around me.” His customers, however, love his clay diffuser-- Zu Füß’s best-selling product.
Nick has been reading Tarot since his exploration of Wicca as a pre-teen: “I used to spend a lot of time in the orchards behind my house just being with nature,” he explains. Doing readings for others seemed natural for him, and adding Tarot to his list of offerings is a healthy way for Nick to bridge spirituality and aromatherapy.
In response to the 2016 election, Nick has decided to sell LGBTQ+ Pride Bracelets, which he makes from rainbow embroidery floss. He tells me, “I had a panic attack for basically two months. As the hate kept growing, I wanted to do something beyond just wearing a safety pin or being a good person to other people.” One hundred percent of the proceeds from the bracelets will go to an LGBTQ+ friendly non-profit organization that Nick will select for the month. His first batch of donations went to the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley. This month’s donation will go to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.
In addition to raising funds, Nick has stated a clear commitment to inclusive business: “If you choose to give your dollars to Zu Füß, know that your dollars will be supporting many small, ethical businesses and liberal, inclusive policies. I believe voting with your dollar is important. This is about love versus hate.” A full list of responsible businesses Nick works with are listed on his site.
For Nick, Zu Füß is all about grounded growth. In addition to-- of course-- achieving financial stability, Nick has a clear goal: “I just want to learn more about what I’m doing and where I’m going.”
More about Nick:
- He’s not a scheduler.
- He’s super sarcastic.
- He loves to knit, cook and game.
- He eats vegan-- and loves Indian food.
- He’s obsessed with Lady Gaga.
- His frequents Mount Hope Cemetery.
Let Nick Foos of Zu Füß tell you his story at our March Brainery Bazaar this Saturday from 11am-5pm. Nick will be joined by many more fabulous vendors. For more information, see our Facebook event.